The Graduate School of Science and the Faculty of Science at Kyoto University originated in the year following the establishment of Kyoto Imperial University in 1897, when the departments of mathematics, physics, and chemistry were established within the School of Science and Engineering. In 1919, the Faculty of Science was established, and departments of astrophysics, geophysics, zoology, botany, and geology and mineralogy were added. Therefore, the Faculty of Science has a history of over 100 years. After World War II, a new graduate school was established in 1953 and began offering doctoral education, and from 1994 to 1995, the Faculty of Science was reorganized into one department, the Department of Science, and the graduate school was divided into five specialized fields: mathematics and mathematical analysis, physics and astrophysics, earth and planetary sciences, chemistry, and biological sciences. This organizational structure remains in place to this day.
Our science aims to search for truth of natural phenomena and to reveal the truth in a reasonable manner with free-minded and bold thinking. Most of the scientific discoveries that have had huge impacts on the world have come out of scientists’ pure curiosity to understand the principles of natural phenomena. We have promoted highly original research that is not bound by current trends, respecting research based on the free ideas of each individual researcher. All of the faculty staff members feel impermanent joy and happiness in finding the true nature and essence of things. This curious, unique, versatile, and diverse faculty is what we at the Graduate School and Faculty of Science of Kyoto University are most proud of. We believe that it is because of this spirit that we have produced many researchers who have been awarded major prizes such as the Nobel Prize and the Fields Medal in our over 100 years history. We have also made significant contributions to education in the field of science in Japan. Our graduates are not limited to academia, but are active in a wide variety of fields in Japan, including business.
Research and education at the Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science can also play a significant role in addressing various issues that exist in society. Japan today faces a variety of problems, including low birthrate, aging population, regional disparities, economic stagnation, climate change, and potential natural disaster risks. Similarly, the world faces many challenges as well. While science may not a discipline that directly contributes to solving these problems, it is arguably effective in fostering human resources with the advanced research skills needed to solve them. Students who study science acquire the ability to explore nature with completely new ideas, enabling them to generate deep insights and make bold conceptual shifts necessary for problem-solving. Additionally, science provides methods for information analysis, conceptual innovation, the introduction of novel technologies, and the presentation of entirely new ways of thinking, all of which are fundamental to problem-solving during the research process. In fact, it is a well-known fact that discoveries and inventions that significantly change society often emerge from directly unrelated fields.
In this way, the Graduate School of Science and the Faculty of Science are organizations that can make a broad contribution to society, and we intend to continue to promote research and education without losing sight of this stance. As part of this effort, we are currently developing a system to support education and research through the establishment of the Center for Science Adventure and Collaborative Research Advancement (SACRA) and attempts to pioneer interdisciplinary fields such as the "MAthematics-based Creation of Science Program" (commonly known as the "MACS Education Program").
To the current students
Even though we have well equipped facilities besides our brilliant staff with various charming characters, it is you whom we are most proud of. You are excellent students, who long for our academic culture, with limitless potential and diverse individualities. I expect you to discover new horizons through encounters with the right people, and gain a deep insight into the essence and the truth of things during your school life. In addition, I would like you to join us in making the school more attractive together.
Our undergraduate program offers you a wide range of options. The only required subject is the graduation work whilst you need to earn a certain number of credits from each subject cluster. Once you set your own goal, you will be able to make effective choices among the alternatives to take actions proactively toward the goal along your personal plan.
The other thing is that, I would like to advise you to keep in mind to talk with and listen to anyone around you now and then. Sharing ideas and exchanging opinions not only prevent you from being go-it-alone but lead you to find something new which might enable you to make progress in achieving the goal. If you have any trouble, you could also get professional counseling on campus. I hope you get to know who you are through those interactions.
To prospective students
We invite those who:
- Make persevering effort to find solutions to problems with an excellent scientific background, high ability of logical and rational thinking and language skills.
- Value academic freedom and are not afraid to challenge established authority or concepts, and are original thinkers with a mindset that embraces and produces novel ideas.
Please find details on the website of our admission policy.
To the faculty and staff members
Under severe fiscal circumstances, our job duties have been getting heavier and heavier. We have to streamline our operation for maintaining the quality of performance. This is one of the reasons why the SACRA was established. I embrace consensus building in steering GSS while making the SACRA well-functioned, and ask your cooperation for development of the school.
As well as we seek the truth of natural phenomena retaining medium- to long-term vision, we strive to cultivate students’ scientific ground, develop their ability of logical and rational thinking and improve their eyes of perspective and mental strength.
On the other hand, during recent years, we face the downtrend in the scale of budget from the government and in the number of staff. In those harsh circumstances, your support truly helps us. We are deeply grateful for the support of donors.
Furthermore, we express our heartfelt apology for the research misconduct. We will continue to make our best efforts as a whole school to achieve high quality research results. We sincerely request your continued understanding and support into the years ahead. Please keep connected to us on our website or the Science Club Days.